When scientists don’t follow “the science and the data”…

More studies show that schools can be re-opened safely.
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Interesting editorial in USA Today (i.e. not exactly a right wing rag)…

A team of doctors and epidemiologists conducted research on children attending school in person.

They published their findings and submitted them to the CDC.

But, they write:

The CDC cites our work but, in their guidance, does not take into account our data and analyses.

Ouch.

Specifically, the authors conclude:

The science shows that we can safely open our schools now for full-time (non-hybrid) learning and keep them open without even enforcing 6-feet socially distancing.

Here are their data-driven conclusions…

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First, children are not at significant risk of poor outcomes from COVID-19.

288 children have died from the disease in the United States, compared with more than 500,000 adults.

While the death of any child is devastating, this is similar to the number who die from influenza each year.

And COVID-19 deaths in children and adolescents are magnitudes smaller than deaths from suicide, some now driven by school closure.

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Second, viral spread is minimal in schools with appropriate safety precautions, even in communities with a high disease prevalence.

We studied 4,876 grade K-12 students and 654 staff members in Wisconsin school districts where the COVID-19 test positivity rates were running 41.6%.

Notably, the majority of ventilation systems had not been replaced or upgraded.

Students wore masks in the classroom, but not outside during recess.

There were only seven students and zero staff who contracted the virus in school.

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Third, no science supports mandating 6 feet of distance with children wearing masks.

In fact, there is evidence that a 3-feet distancing is sufficient if students are wearing masks.

For example, a large study in Massachusetts concluded that” lower physical distancing policies (3 feet vs 6 feet) can be adopted in school settings with masking mandates without negatively impacting student or staff safety.”  Source

And, in the Wisconsin study, more than 90% of elementary school children (K to 5th grade) were less than 6 feet apart in the classroom.

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Again, the authors conclude that  science and their data show that we can safely open our schools now for full-time, in person learning.

But, caving to political interests, the CDC watered down their guidance, giving some resistant teachers’ unions ammunition to continue their delaying tactics.

Apparently, the CDC is more swayed by political science than real science…

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